Nepal continued its good run of form at the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL Div. 4) tournament in Kuala Lumpur today after the side beat the host, Malaysia, by 10 wickets in a low scoring match.
A brilliant performance by spinner Shakti Gauchan saw the 28-year-old take impressive match figures of 10-8-2-3 to dismiss the lower order.
Meanwhile, USA bounced back from its earlier loss to defeat Tanzania by seven wickets in another low-scoring fixture and Singapore beat Denmark by four wickets.
At Selangor Turf Club, Nepal captain Paras Khadka made sure his side continued its winning ways with an impressive 10-wicket victory over the tournament host Malaysia. Khadka’s star bowlers, Gauchan and Basanta Regmi claiming three wickets each, dismissed the host for a meagre 69 in 32.1 overs.
Gauchan’s performance in the innings earned him the man of the match award after his imposing spell to claim three wickets for just two runs in a tight series of overs that saw him stifle Malaysia’s run-making abilities.
In reply, it took Nepal just 12.2 overs to knock off the target with Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal making light-work of the required runs.
Post-match Gauchan said: “I didn’t think much abuot my performance before the game, but my objective was to bowl in the right area which I did during the game and it turned out to be my best bowling performance.”
Captain Khadka added: “It was another great bowling display from the team, especially from Gauchan and the other opening pairs. Although we had a small target to chase, I am happy with the batting performance of the openers as the batter and won the match for us convincingly. We still can’t relax after this win and will work hard to win the rest of our matches.”
USA bounced back from its loss earlier in the tournament to Denmark with a strong seven-wicket victory over Tanzania. Usman Shuja proved to be key for the Americans, with the medium-pacer claiming three wickets in his role to help dismiss the African side for just 92 runs.
Shuja was assisted by good performances with the ball by Muhammad Ghous and Timroy Allen while Tanzania’s middle-order crumbled to the pace and spin attack.
In reply, it took the USA just nine overs to reach the target but not before it lost three wickets in the process.
Steven Taylor contributed a neat 22-ball 46 before departing after being caught by Tanzania’s wicketkeeper, Issa Kikazi, it was then up to Aditya Mishra and Elmore Hutchison to add some more to the total before they headed back to the pavilion, leaving captain Steve Massiah and Timroy Allen to tidy up proceedings for the side and secure the victory.
Shuja said: “I’m happy with my performance today since I didn’t bowl well against Denmark. I hope I can maintain my performance against Nepal and in the rest of our matches.”
Massiah also commented: “It was professional approach today and things went according to the game plan and we executed brilliantly what we had planned. We knew how critical this match was going to be for us and winning it with a big margin will help us to boost out net run-rate.”
In the final fixture of the day, Denmark took on Singapore at Bayuemas Oval with Michael Pedersen’s side eager to continue its winning streak.
The side amassed 173 in less the 50 overs, with Freddie Klokker and Shehzad Ahmed being the batsmen of note, but the other Danes failed to contribute heavily to the total. Singapore’s captain, Saad Khan Janjua proved to be the pick of his bowling unit claiming the key wickets of opener Carsten Pedersen and batsman Andreas Lambert.
In reply, Singapore took its time to reach the required target but did so with the assistance of some good run-making by the top order including Chaminda Kumarage and Anish Param while veteran batsman Munish Arora finished the innings 39 not out.
Denmark’s captain Michael Pedersen did his best to lead his bowling attack, claiming 2-24, however his attempts were in vain as Singapore secured the win by four wickets.
Scores in Brief
At Kinrara Academy Oval
Tanzania 92 all out, 29.3 overs (Nassoro 28; Shuja 3-14, Allen 2-20, Ghous 2-14)
USA 93-3, 9.0 overs (Taylor 46)
USA won by seven wickets
Player of the Match: Usman Shuja (USA)
At Bayuemas Oval
Denmark 173 all out, 46.3 overs (Shehzad 50, Klokker 45; Janjua 2-13)
Singapore 174-6, 46.4 overs (Arora 39 not out, Kumarage 35, Param 30; M Pedersen 2-24)
Singapore won by four wickets
Player of the Match: Munish Arora (Singapore)
At Selangor Turf Club
Malaysia 69 all out, 32.1 overs (Shafiq Sharif 22; Gauchan 3-2, Basant Regmi 3-12. Bhattarai 2-19)
Nepal 71-0, 12.2 overs (Khakurel 24 not out, Mandal 41 not out)
Nepal won by 10 wickets
Player of the Match: Shakti Gauchan (Nepal)